The census is a count of all people living in the United States, mandated by the Constitution, that is conducted every 10 years. It is conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau, a nonpartisan government agency.
The census counts every resident in the United States, including citizens, non-citizen legal residents, non-citizen long-term visitors, and undocumented immigrants.
In March 2020, households will receive a letter inviting them to participate in the 2020 Census, with details on how to fill out the census. You can fill out the census online, by mail, or by phone. All households will receive this letter by April 1, 2020, which is Census Day. Census Day is the point of reference for filling out the census--in your responses, you include everyone living in your home on April 1, 2020, regardless of age or guardianship. In April 2020, households that have not yet responded will be sent a paper census. In May 2020, home visits will begin for households not yet counted. You have until the summer of 2020 to complete the census.
December 2019 - Mid-March 2020
Educate your audience about the 2020 Census.
- Explain why it’s important and how it benefits your community.
- Inform your audience that the census is easy, safe, and important.
- Display posters and other partner materials.
- Include messaging about the 2020 Census in your emails, newsletters, and blogs.
- Apply to be a census taker and recruit part-time staff and young adults to become census takers.
The website to respond to the census goes live. People across the United States can begin responding to the 2020 Census online, by phone, or by mail.
April 1 is Census Day
Mid-March - May 2020
Encourage your audience to respond to the 2020 Census.
- Share the link to the online census form.
- Make computers or Wi-Fi available for your audience to respond online.
- Continue to inform your audience about the importance of responding to the census.
May - July 2020
Share information about how the U.S. Census Bureau will make sure everyone is counted.
- Let your audience know that census takers will follow up in person with households that have not yet responded.
- Inform your audience that census takers can assist them in completing their census form.
The 2020 Census in your community - If you are unsure of who in your community will be leading the efforts to "Get Out the Count" in 2020, here are some of the trusted partners in your state that are here to help:
The census asks you demographic information about all of the people residing in your home, including age, race, and gender. It will never ask you to disclose information such as your social security number, anything related to your bank account or credit card numbers, or anything related to your political party affiliation.
Importantly, the 2020 Census will NOT ask you about your citizenship status. To find out what questions will be asked by the census, visit: https://2020census.gov/en/about-questions.html
- We can reassure families that filling out the census is safe. The U.S. Census Bureau is bound by law to keep your census responses strictly confidential.
- IT IS A FEDERAL CRIME TO USE ANY INFORMATION OBTAINED IN A CENSUS FORM FOR ANYTHING OTHER THAN AN ACCURATE CENSUS COUNT.
- Census takers cannot ask for social security numbers, financial information, or payment of any kind.
You will NOT be asked about your citizenship status on the 2020 Census.
The groups most likely to not be counted are:
- Infants and young children
- Highly mobile persons
- Racial and ethnic minorities
- Non-English speakers
- Low income persons
- Persons experiencing homelessness
- Undocumented immigrants
- Persons who distrust the government
- LGBTQ persons
- Persons with mental or physical disabilities
- Persons who do not live in traditional housing
Helping to get an accurate census count is one of the most important things we can do to serve our communities.
Undercounting in the 2020 Census
- In addition to potential misinformation about a 'citizenship question,' many barriers exist that may discourage, dissuade, or deny access to those historically undercounted groups.